Write in? After runoff, the answer is, nope

Posted on June 25, 2014 


For those Chris McDaniel supporters hoping their candidate will mount a write-in challenge after his loss to Sen. Thad Cochran in Tuesday's runoff, there is a legal term for such a possibility: Not Happening. Here are some pertinent sections of election law and attorney general opinions that can be found on the secretary of state's website:


A write-in candidate is appropriate only when one has qualified as a candidate for a particular office and subsequently dies, resigns, withdraws, or is removed as a candidate. Hatcher, Mar. 23, 2001, A.G.  Op. #01-0163. 

23-15-365. Write-in candidates.  

There shall be left on each ballot one (1) blank space under the title of each office to be voted for, and in the event of the death, resignation, withdrawal or removal of any candidate whose name shall have been printed on the official ballot, the name of the candidate duly substituted in the place of such candidate may be written in such blank space by the voter. 


Votes cast at general election, by writing name on blank space, for one who was candidate at primary election but who was not nominated held illegal. May v. Young, 164 Miss. 35, 143 So. 703 (1932), overruled on other grounds, O'Neal v. Simpson, 350 So. 2d 998 (Miss. 1977). 

That contestant's name was fraudulently kept off ballots did not authorize voters to write his name thereon. May v. Young, 164 Miss. 35, 143 So. 703 (1932), overruled on other grounds, O'Neal v. Simpson, 350 So. 2d 998 (Miss. 1977). 

Voters may write name of candidate not nominated on the official ballot only in case of the death of a candidate. McKenzie v. Boykin, 111 Miss. 256, 71 So. 382 (1916). 

This section [Code 1942, 3262] is constitutional. McKenzie v. Boykin, 111 Miss. 256, 71 So. 

382 (1916).   


Where ballots were not printed for a primary election, this section was not invoked and there was no provision for the casting of write-in votes; therefore, any write-in votes cast in the primary election would not be valid. Shepard, June 4, 1999, A.G. Op. #99-0263. 

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